Although Orlando City SC have existed for what seems like a little while now after being established in 2010, in the grand scheme of things, we are still an incredibly new franchise on a global scale.
With this season’s two opening fixtures against Real Salt Lake and Chicago Fire having proved that there is still a lot to learn and build upon to yield future success, we are also starting to discover particular characters in Major League Soccer that the Lions don’t enjoy facing.
Whether it’s a fearsome striker who can’t help but find the net against Adrian Heath’s men or alternatively a constant menace who always seems to bring the worst out of our boys in purple, having such foes is all part of football at the end of the day.
But who are the FOUR MLS stars that Orlando City SC hate going up against?
We reckon you’ll agree with our selections below but if you have any more menaces, let us know in the comments section at the bottom of the article or tweet us at @Orlando_CityUK!
David Accam (Chicago Fire)
It just had to be David Accam to equalise last Friday night, hadn’t it?
On a personal level, the Ghanaian international is starting to build up a real rich vein of form when facing the Lions with Friday’s 14th minute leveller representing the 25-year-old’s third goal in four MLS appearances against Adrian Heath’s men.
What’s more, in his post Fire press conference the other day, Heath himself alluded to the fact that Accam was difficult to stop during the 90 minutes.
Considering the same player scored in two of the three head-to-heads last season, he’s quickly becoming someone that The Wall loathe the sight of!
David Accam pulling Fire level against the Lions – June 7, 2016 (Credit: Major League Soccer)
Accam has smashed in 12 MLS goals in 26 appearances for Fire since signing from Helsingborg last year and now a third of those strikes have been registered against our Lions.
Sebastian Giovinco (Toronto FC)
To be rather blunt, there isn’t a defence in Major League Soccer that wouldn’t feel concerned about this man running at them with Sebastian Giovinco undoubtedly the most exciting player in MLS right now.
I think we’d all concede that.
That said, Giovinco proved last season that he enjoys facing Orlando City SC more than most teams after bagging four goals in the three head-to-heads that were contested last campaign, including a hat-trick on August 5th.
Sebastian Giovinco’s hat-trick against Orlando City SC – August 5, 2015 (Credit: Toronto FC)
It was a sorry, sorry story against TFC in 2015 with the Canadians having comfortably dispatched our boys on all three occasions, winning 0-2 at the Citrus Bowl in April 2015 before emphatic 4-1 and 5-0 victories later in the season.
Javier Morales (Real Salt Lake)
Whereas David Accam and Sebastian Giovinco have been regular scorers against Orlando City SC in MLS, Javier Morales takes his place in this countdown for an altogether different reason.
The Real Salt Lake veteran has now been involved in two altercations which have resulted in a Lions star being sent off, both last season and already this campaign also.
When you look back at both calls, Kaká and Darwin Cerén might’ve easily stayed on the field on another day.
Kaká’s straight red card against Real Salt Lake – July 5, 2015 (Credit: Kaká22i)
We’re of course talking about last season’s alleged Kaká stamp on Morales at Rio Tinto Stadium where referee Storin Stoica decided that he deemed the Brazilian’s movement towards the Argentine as deliberate.
Now while Brazil and Argentina are huge rivals in the football sense, we all know Kaká was off balance anyway. A harsh call all round and actually Kaká’s first straight red card of his career.
Darwin Cerén’s dismissal against Real Salt Lake – March 6, 2016 (Credit: MLS Instant Replay)
Onto this season’s dismissal of Cerén and Brian Dunseth of MLS’ Instant Replay claimed referee Chris Penso made the correct call in showing the red card to our El Salvadorian international with “zero attempt to play the ball”.
Maybe it’s the constant theatrics on the part of Morales that wind Lions players and fans up or his previous with Kaká but as we maintain, Cerén might’ve stayed on the field another day.
Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC)
Sebastian Giovinco’s partner in crime up top for Toronto FC, Jozy Altidore was in on the goalscoring act in a big way against our Lions last term.
It was a case of anything Giovinco can do, Altidore can do too with the USMNT star also bagging four goals against Orlando City SC in the three encounters contested between the pair last season.
Jozy Altidore opening the scoring against Orlando City SC – April 26, 2015 (Credit: Toronto FC)
Simply too strong and too powerful for City’s defence to deal with, especially in TFC’s 0-2 away win at the Citrus Bowl in April 2015 where the former Sunderland man bagged a brace, Seb Hines and Aurélien Collin just couldn’t stop him on the day.
As the season panned out, Altidore went onto score two more against City at BMO field in the third and final meeting last season, a thumping 5-0 victory in August last year that we’d all like to erase from our memories!